Borussia Dortmund won’t want to lose Jadon Sancho this summer, despite the lure of a big-money offer from Manchester United.
That is the view of Sancho’s former academy coach at Watford, Chris McGuane, who coached the youngster for five years from 2010.
And Watford’s former head of academy McGuane knew about Sancho’s talent when he was just ten years old.
He told talkSPORT: “I think full credit goes to Jadon in terms of how much he’s accelerated his own development.
“He was a talent, he was somebody who just wanted to play. We had to make sure we gave him the right environment to go and flourish and show what he can do.
“You knew somebody was there that had a real talent and could progress in the game. It’s very difficult to judge a nine, ten, 11 or 12-year-old and where you think they’re going to end up.
“But you knew about Jadon, he had a determination about him, as much as he loved playing football, he wanted to be the best at everything he did, he wanted to stretch himself, he wanted to challenge himself.
“I think you see that now in terms of how much he’s progressed in such a short space of time. It’s full credit to him and his family.”
McGuane’s professional affiliation with Sancho ended when the youngster joined Manchester City for an initial fee of £66,000 in 2015.
After impressing in City’s academy for two years, his desire to play regular first-team football saw him reject a reported £30,000-a-week contract to join Dortmund for £8million.
He has become one of the most highly regarded youngsters in Europe due to his form over the past 18 months.
Sancho has created the joint-most goals in Europe’s top five leagues, alongside Barcelona star Lionel Messi, with 12 assists this season.
McGuane, who left Watford to join Nottingham Forest’s academy last summer, said: “I think he was brave. At the time, there weren’t too many young English players playing abroad.
“He took the step. It doesn’t surprise you because all Jadon wants to do is play football at the highest level and push himself and challenge himself.
“So if he was given an opportunity to have discussions with another club and was told ‘actually, there’s a real chance of you playing in our first-team’ then it doesn’t surprise me that that’s the route he took.
“He just loves playing football. He plays with a smile on his face, I watched him the other night [against the Czech Republic], he’s just doing all the things he used to do back when he was ten, 11, 12, 13 with us at Watford. It’s great to see him continuing to kick on and progress with his career.”
Sancho’s eight goals and 12 assists in the Bundesliga this term have caught Man United’s eye.
The tricky winger has three years left on his Dortmund deal – and could be worth even more if he helps his club to a first Bundesliga title in seven years.
Dortmund trail leaders Bayern Munich on goal difference with eight games to go.
When asked if he sees Sancho playing for a top Premier League club, McGuane said: “Look, Jadon has got all the ability and talent and almost the world in front of him.
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“That’ll be down to Jadon. It’s more a question for Jadon – where does he see his future?
“At the minute, you can see he’s enjoying his football with Borussia Dortmund. They’ve given him a fantastic opportunity to showcase himself and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to lose out on him.
“Jadon’s taken the opportunity they’ve given him. I guess you never know what the future holds.”
Sancho received a first call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in October.
He has gone on to win four senior caps, with the latest coming in a 5-0 thrashing of the Czech Republic on Friday.
McGuane believes Sancho could star for England at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He added: “There’s a long way to go. He’s still very young, there’s a long way for him to develop and progress.
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“He’s getting some fantastic support from Borussia Dortmund and Gareth with the national team.
“He’s being very well looked after and it’s down to Jadon. He needs to continue to develop and continue to put in the right performances and be there on merit when the World Cup comes around.
“I think if he continues to progress the way he’s going, I have no doubt he’ll go on and do very well in that World Cup.”
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